Air Cleaner


Renzo

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I was going to post this in the Normite section but figured this was more of a general question.

I'm considering an air cleaner. I've currently got a 1 1/2hp dust collector but as my wife has asthma and allergies im thinking i need to have as much collection/filtration as possible.

So what do you have, would you recommend it?

My shop is about 15x15 so i'd be lookng at the smaller models. All my other stationary tools are General so i'm thinking about gettint their "pro turbo model"

http://www.general.ca/site_general/g_produits/dust_collector/10-550.html

Thoughts?

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I bought four top quality "hepa" furnace filters, and a "whole house" fan. I figure I'll build a box and "voila!" - air filter!

I have no idea how well it will work. I imagine there's all sorts of balancing the fan's cu ft per minute vs the size of the filter, which I'm ignoring completely.

As with most things, Marc has a video on dust collection. I think it's called "when the dust settles", in the "safety" category.

Hopefully, someone else will give you a better answer.

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I have a JDS AIr-Tech 750. I really like it. It seems to work pretty good. It has a nice remote with a timer function that allows you to have the cleaner shut off after 1,2, 3, or 4 hours. I use it for dust collection and for moving the heat and AC around in the shop. It has a washable electro-static pre-filter and a interior bag type filter. I Know when WOOD tested them several years ago, it was rated "Top Tool." I really like it a lot.

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About two issues ago, Fine Woodworking did some tests on air filters and they found that this Jet unit was the most effective and a good value. post-1-033636200 1281758451_thumb.jpg

I used to own that unit and it performed quite well in my old garage shop. Might be worth tracking down the back issue and reading the article so you can see the breakdown of all the specs and performance ratings.

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I think you should build one, like I did. The monster probably cost me a total of $100.

I have a friend who works in the HVAC industry and asked him if he had any used furnace heater fans.

He gave me one and I built the sheet metal box around it and some 0.3 micron filters that were on sale at Woodcraft.

It does two things for me in the summer....cleans the air and keeps me cool.

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Renzo,

I'm not a fan of them. I don't like that they are sold/advertised in any way to collect dust. All they do is clear ambient dust that is missed by a poor dust collection system. If it's in the air, it's in your lungs. That's why you see Marc wearing a respirator so often. They are good for a final wash of the air prior to finishing, if your DC unit doesn't get the fine dust. I have two operations in my shop that are still less than satisfactory in the dust collection arena: sanding and using any of my routers. It's the one thing that will finally break me over to buy into the Festool system.

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Thanks Marc, I'll try to find the issue, in fact i may even have it :)

About two issues ago, Fine Woodworking did some tests on air filters and they found that this Jet unit was the most effective and a good value. post-1-033636200 1281758451_thumb.jpg

I used to own that unit and it performed quite well in my old garage shop. Might be worth tracking down the back issue and reading the article so you can see the breakdown of all the specs and performance ratings.

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HI

Yeah the reason i'm looking for one is to clear the ambient air of the finer/smaller particles. I don't want them travelling upstairs and into my wife's already sensitive lungs. Or my dogs or mine for that matter. She also has some scent sensitivities as well so thought it'd also be helpful when the finishing comes products come out.

Im still going to faithfully use my 3M respirator when sanding or routing. Having seen first hand how easy it is for lungs to get messed up, i'm not going to fool around.

I was quoted $350 for the general model, however i'm going to look into the Jet that Marc suggested.

The only reason i was thinking general was to keep anything major in my shop the same brand/color. Hahah I'm not OCD i just like things to match.

Renzo,

I'm not a fan of them. I don't like that they are sold/advertised in any way to collect dust. All they do is clear ambient dust that is missed by a poor dust collection system. If it's in the air, it's in your lungs. That's why you see Marc wearing a respirator so often. They are good for a final wash of the air prior to finishing, if your DC unit doesn't get the fine dust. I have two operations in my shop that are still less than satisfactory in the dust collection arena: sanding and using any of my routers. It's the one thing that will finally break me over to buy into the Festool system.

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HI

Yeah the reason i'm looking for one is to clear the ambient air of the finer/smaller particles. I don't want them travelling upstairs and into my wife's already sensitive lungs. Or my dogs or mine for that matter. She also has some scent sensitivities as well so thought it'd also be helpful when the finishing comes products come out.

Im still going to faithfully use my 3M respirator when sanding or routing. Having seen first hand how easy it is for lungs to get messed up, i'm not going to fool around.

I was quoted $350 for the general model, however i'm going to look into the Jet that Marc suggested.

The only reason i was thinking general was to keep anything major in my shop the same brand/color. Hahah I'm not OCD i just like things to match.

LOL!! EMBRACE your OCD. If Marc could get everything in his shop yellow, he would.

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The only reason i was thinking general was to keep anything major in my shop the same brand/color. Hahah I'm not OCD i just like things to match.

If I could, all the tools in my shop would be the same color and brand... Just like I want all my clamps to be the same brand.. I guess I am a little OCD.

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I was going to post this in the Normite section but figured this was more of a general question.

I'm considering an air cleaner. I've currently got a 1 1/2hp dust collector but as my wife has asthma and allergies im thinking i need to have as much collection/filtration as possible.

So what do you have, would you recommend it?

My shop is about 15x15 so i'd be lookng at the smaller models. All my other stationary tools are General so i'm thinking about gettint their "pro turbo model"

http://www.general.ca/site_general/g_produits/dust_collector/10-550.html

Thoughts?

I have a G0572 hanging air filter w/remote that I turn on as soon as I enter the shop and I leave on two hours after I leave. I figure anything that will remove micro dust particles from the air is a good thing. No matter how good your dust collection system is, you're still going to get fine dust particles floating in the air and settling on everything - waiting to be stirred up as you pass by. Wearing a respirator is the best, but that won't help your wife much as I doubt that you'd be able to get her to wear one all the time. ;)

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I have the General 2HP 220 Volt dust collector and I am very happy with it. The filtration bag passes 1 micron which is about as fine as you will get.

The model you noted passes up to 85% 1 micron, also quite good in my opinion.

However, no matter what system you buy, in order for it to work, the air that passes before the filter must pass through it and out of the system. The 1 micron, being the smallest particle will cause all the problems. It is small enough that it will hang in the air for a long time and that particle size will be inhaled as one breaths. No getting around it.

Of course, the less foreign matter that we breath in, the better for us but nothing is perfect.

Buy the unit you are looking at it should be an improvement, but do not expect a silver bullet. There are none.

I offer this information so that you will be informed and be able to make a good decision for yourself.

Woodie

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Generally:

Besides air quality for breathing, running the thing for an hour before doing any finishing *really* cuts back on dust nibs.

Specifically:

I have the smallest Jet filter because my space is under 200 sq ft, maybe 1400 cubic feet. The filter is more than big enough for where I'm working, but.... I am really, really disappointed with it for one big reason: they stopped selling replacement filters!

It's $50+ to get a custom filter made. For a $200 unit, $50/filter is really unexpectedly bad, and I still don't have a way to replace the inner filter.

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I ended up going with the General.

Marc was right, it was this past month's Fine Woodworking that had the comparison and in fact the model i was considering is one of the ones they tested.

It seems to clear the air the fastest (15 mins). The only criticism was that it was a bit louder than the Jet that had the editors pick/best value (as it only has one speed) and isn't quite as quick to change the filter. (it did have a filter change indicator that the Jet does not)

It lists the avg street price of $430 guess i'm getting a great deal for $350 taxes in.

Picking it up tomorrow!

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About two issues ago, Fine Woodworking did some tests on air filters and they found that this Jet unit was the most effective and a good value. post-1-033636200 1281758451_thumb.jpg

I used to own that unit and it performed quite well in my old garage shop. Might be worth tracking down the back issue and reading the article so you can see the breakdown of all the specs and performance ratings.

I second Marc's suggestion. I bought one based on FWW's review and I absolutely love it (now that I've installed it).

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I ended up going with the General.

Marc was right, it was this past month's Fine Woodworking that had the comparison and in fact the model i was considering is one of the ones they tested.

It seems to clear the air the fastest (15 mins). The only criticism was that it was a bit louder than the Jet that had the editors pick/best value (as it only has one speed) and isn't quite as quick to change the filter. (it did have a filter change indicator that the Jet does not)

It lists the avg street price of $430 guess i'm getting a great deal for $350 taxes in.

Picking it up tomorrow!

Apparently I was late to the party with my previous post. Good luck with the General.

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HI

Well i couldn't find a dealer closeby that had the Jet (i'm in Canada)

and I'm getting the General for $350 taxes in, when the list price is $430.

AND it matches everything else in my shop.

It seemed very comparable to the Jet.

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Renzo,

I just now caught up on this thread. Glad to hear you are moving in the right direction; congrats on your purchase.

Regardless of brand, these units all perform the same basic function- they move air through filters. An outer "prefilter" traps the big stuff and keeps it from clogging the more expensive main inner filter that gets the small stuff.

Above all else, the main thing is to have a unit sized large enough for your room, which you have accomplished.

An aftermarket upgrade that is very much worth the money is a set of filters from a supplier such as Wynn Environmental. These are great; Wynn has designed the filters to efficiently filter smaller particles than the factory filters, meaning they do so without significant loss of airflow.

To take things a step further, you can also install a true HEPA filter. A HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of particles as small as .3 microns. To put things in another perspective, a HEPA filter will filter air as well as the N100 cartridges on your respirator. (Please take the precautions noted in the previous posts regarding the importance of continuing to wear a respirator during activity which creates considerable dust. Remember, the dust-laden air passes your body before it gets to the filter.)

Many people go this route- see post #2 by Beechwood Chip and post #5 by Tennessee Yankee.

But HEPA filters are expensive, especially ones large enough to filter a lot of CFM. But there are ways to provide a long service life, most notably through use of prefilters.

If you decide to do this, I would suggest doing a project similar to what I have done with my PM1200- build a filter box containing a HEPA filter on the exhaust end of your unit. Putting it on the exhaust end allows the factory-spec filters in front to prefilter the air and remove most of the stuff larger than one micron. Thus, the direction of airflow is now, in order: 1.factory outer prefilter 2.factory main filter 3.fan 4.HEPA filter

Doing it this way, my HEPA filter has lasted over three years with almost daily use.

You can build your exhaust box out of whatever material you have handy- sheet metal, scrap plywood, etc. Seal up all joints, thereby creating an airtight unit which forces all air through the filter. (I use caulk at the box seams and weatherstrip at the filter, but most room-size HEPA filters will usually have some sort of seal already around the perimeter.)

If using a unidirectional filter (air must flow in one direction only), be sure to have the filter facing the proper direction.

Beechwood Chip did state a valid point in his post concerning balancing the fan/motor with the filter capacity. If you place the HEPA filter on the exhaust end, simply make sure the CFM capacity of your filter exceeds that of your unit. Since you are still using the factory setup at the intake side, all "balancing" has been done by the factory engineers. If your unit is advertised as pushing 800 CFM, then a minimum 1000+ CFM filter should pose no restriction, provided it is reasonably clean and unclogged (again, the intake filters contribute to long service life of the HEPA filter on the exhaust side). Go with a smaller filter and ugly things can happen to your motor.

You've already taken the proper first step; I'll bet SWMBO is already thanking you. If you wish to take it further, then the suggestions above have literally made the air quality in my basement shop better than the kitchen and dining room above it!

One more thing: You mentioned "scent sensitivities". You can purchase (or have made) charcoal filters for your unit. This is the proper way to take care of odors, but you would be amazed at what the HEPA filter does. I like to use a charcoal filter when working with a bunch of glue-ups, etc. It also works good to "clear the air" a day after applying finishes. But don't even think about using it as part of a spray booth; the motors in these units are sealed, but they are not XP (explosion proof) rated.

Good Luck,

Rob

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I'm with you Renzo, being in Canada, looks like the Jet one is out of the question. Where did you order yours from to get such a good deal?

My basement has been gutted for awhile now and I have my work space setup on one end. I have been using a Festool CT22 for the last few months and that has helped, but it is amazing how far the dust will travel. The copper pipes that run to the far end of the basement even have dust on them. The stuff gets everywhere so am thinking an air cleaner would definitely help with this.

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Thanks for the great info, Rob.

I'll definitely look into HEPA filters and charcoal.

Renzo,

I just now caught up on this thread. Glad to hear you are moving in the right direction; congrats on your purchase.

Regardless of brand, these units all perform the same basic function- they move air through filters. An outer "prefilter" traps the big stuff and keeps it from clogging the more expensive main inner filter that gets the small stuff.

Above all else, the main thing is to have a unit sized large enough for your room, which you have accomplished.

An aftermarket upgrade that is very much worth the money is a set of filters from a supplier such as Wynn Environmental. These are great; Wynn has designed the filters to efficiently filter smaller particles than the factory filters, meaning they do so without significant loss of airflow.

To take things a step further, you can also install a true HEPA filter. A HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of particles as small as .3 microns. To put things in another perspective, a HEPA filter will filter air as well as the N100 cartridges on your respirator. (Please take the precautions noted in the previous posts regarding the importance of continuing to wear a respirator during activity which creates considerable dust. Remember, the dust-laden air passes your body before it gets to the filter.)

Many people go this route- see post #2 by Beechwood Chip and post #5 by Tennessee Yankee.

But HEPA filters are expensive, especially ones large enough to filter a lot of CFM. But there are ways to provide a long service life, most notably through use of prefilters.

If you decide to do this, I would suggest doing a project similar to what I have done with my PM1200- build a filter box containing a HEPA filter on the exhaust end of your unit. Putting it on the exhaust end allows the factory-spec filters in front to prefilter the air and remove most of the stuff larger than one micron. Thus, the direction of airflow is now, in order: 1.factory outer prefilter 2.factory main filter 3.fan 4.HEPA filter

Doing it this way, my HEPA filter has lasted over three years with almost daily use.

You can build your exhaust box out of whatever material you have handy- sheet metal, scrap plywood, etc. Seal up all joints, thereby creating an airtight unit which forces all air through the filter. (I use caulk at the box seams and weatherstrip at the filter, but most room-size HEPA filters will usually have some sort of seal already around the perimeter.)

If using a unidirectional filter (air must flow in one direction only), be sure to have the filter facing the proper direction.

Beechwood Chip did state a valid point in his post concerning balancing the fan/motor with the filter capacity. If you place the HEPA filter on the exhaust end, simply make sure the CFM capacity of your filter exceeds that of your unit. Since you are still using the factory setup at the intake side, all "balancing" has been done by the factory engineers. If your unit is advertised as pushing 800 CFM, then a minimum 1000+ CFM filter should pose no restriction, provided it is reasonably clean and unclogged (again, the intake filters contribute to long service life of the HEPA filter on the exhaust side). Go with a smaller filter and ugly things can happen to your motor.

You've already taken the proper first step; I'll bet SWMBO is already thanking you. If you wish to take it further, then the suggestions above have literally made the air quality in my basement shop better than the kitchen and dining room above it!

One more thing: You mentioned "scent sensitivities". You can purchase (or have made) charcoal filters for your unit. This is the proper way to take care of odors, but you would be amazed at what the HEPA filter does. I like to use a charcoal filter when working with a bunch of glue-ups, etc. It also works good to "clear the air" a day after applying finishes. But don't even think about using it as part of a spray booth; the motors in these units are sealed, but they are not XP (explosion proof) rated.

Good Luck,

Rob

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